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Tender morsels
Margo Lanagan
Teen Fiction LANAGAN

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From Publishers' Weekly:

In her extraordinary and often dark first novel, award-winning story writer Lanagan (Red Spikes) creates two worlds: the first a preindustrial village that might have sprung from a Brueghel canvas, a place of victims and victimizers; the second a personal heaven granted to Liga Longfield, who has survived her father's molestations and a gang rape but, with one baby and pregnant again, cannot risk any further pain. As she raises her two daughters, placid Branza and fiery Urdda, she discovers that her universe is permeable: a dwarf or "littlee man," in Lanagan's characteristically knotted parlance, slips in and out of her world in search of treasure; and a good-hearted youth also enters, magically transformed into a bear in the process. A less kind man-bear follows, and then a teenage Urdda, avid for a richer life with the "vivid people," figures out how to pass through the border, too. Writing in thick, clotted prose that holds the reader to a slow pace, Lanagan explores the savage and the gentlest sides of human nature, and how they coexist. With suggestions of bestiality and sodomy, the novel demands maturity--but the challenging text will attract only an ambitious audience anyway. Ages 14-up. (Oct.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

From Library Journal:

While I already blurbed this book as a best of 2008, it deserves a place here for its complex and unflinching portrayal of motherhood. Young Liga wants to protect her baby girls from the cruelty of the world. Her wish is granted, and she is allowed to raise them in a magical place of her own imagining. When one daughter finds her way to the real world, Liga is forced to confront the consequences of her choice. Working so hard to protect her children has cost her years of time and possibly her future happiness. Why It Is for Us: Seldom does a reader experience such a profoundly adult insight in a book written for teens. No lie, the world Liga rescues her family from is cruel. The lines between human and animal, magic and reality are blurred. Lanagan's writing is reminiscent of Toni Morrison's or Isabel Allende's-elegant, complex, and worth savoring every word. (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

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main characters Liga Longfield
Molestationed by her father; been gang raped and has a baby and is expecting another one; rasies her two daughters on her own; magical things begin to happen around her.

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